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MEET THE CAST: Aaliyah Habeeb

Q: Position/Role with the show?
A: Lucrece

Q: Brief background about yourself?
A: I'm originally from Kent, OH. I'm one of 8 kids from 2 awesome & supportive parents. My whole family is super supportive of me, really! I'm lucky to have them. I've always been a performer. When you come from a big family, there's ALWAYS one! I did my undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Administration of Justice with a concentration in Forensic Science. If I didn't have a passion for acting, I would probably be fighting crime in some capacity or another. But because of this incessant need to be an artist, I scoped out grad school programs that would give me the training I needed to make it in this business, and Rutgers was the place, and Israel Hicks, then artistic director, was the leader I wanted to guide my path. He passed away the year I came into the program, but I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

Q: Any previous experience with NYSX?
A: No! First time for everything and I couldn't be more excited!

Q: Favorite thing to do outside of theatre?
A: I love to cook. Ironically, I used to LOATHE being in the kitchen. Coming from a huge family, every meal was a well-orchestrated event and I remember my mom always being in there. FOR HOURS! I wanted no parts of it. But now, the kitchen is my sanctuary. I'm always whipping up different vegetarian meals. And I make a pretty amazing salad, not to brag or anything :)

Q: Favorite Shakespeare play and why?
A: I'd probably have to say The Tempest. I think it's the first Shakespeare play my dad took me and my younger sisters to at Cleveland Playhouse and I just remember being in awe of Ariel and Prospero.

Q: Three words to describe the play?
A: Relevant. Ferociously Unapologetic.

Q: Why is Shakespeare (and adaptations of Shakespeare) still relevant and important?
A: Shakespeare's themes transcend time and place. You could set any of them anywhere in the world and the themes would ring true for that community. His plays are about the human experience, and The Rape of Lucrece is particularly important today because we are still dealing with the same stigma and ignorance surrounding rape.

Q: What about this production excites you?
A: Oh man…everything! Elivia is crushing it with the costumes. Cristina is killing it directing and Kevin's created an awesome piece of literature that I'm thrilled to sink my teeth into. There's a lot of mighty people bringing this baby to life on stage and off, so I'm excited to be a part of the magic and I can't wait to see how the audience responds.

Q: What do you hope audiences take away from watching Lucrece?